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2004 Ford GT Prototype Heading To Auction

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One of four known to exist, this won't come cheap.

The first-generation Ford GT was designed both to celebrate the Ford Motor Company's upcoming centenary as well as pay tribute to the racing GT40s that took on and beat Ferrari at Le Mans three years running in the late '60s. It looked and sounded like a brutish blue-collar muscle car, and in some ways, its 550hp 5.4-liter supercharged V8 was more sledgehammer than scalpel compared to European exotica of the time.

Yet it also featured many cutting-edge materials and engineering solutions and a number of pre-production prototypes were built to ensure that all these systems worked as they should.

The GT heading to the block at Worldwide Auctioneers is prototype CP4, the car used to prove ride, handling, steering and climate control systems. Unlike the other prototypes (only three more are known to exist), it is the only one registered for road use and not limited to a top speed of 15 mph.

It has recently completed a 4.5-hour road trip from Saratosa to the Amelia Island Concours with no issues. Imagine doing that trip in one of the speed-limited models. This was also the first prototype to hit 20 0mph in testing and features some unique details not found on the other prototypes or production models.

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The most notable of which is a formed carbon-fiber inner clamshell skin that was deemed too expensive to be fitted to production models. CP4 was also built without any airbags or full noise suppression and carries the signatures of all 15 Ford GT project engineers.

Where the 4,038 road-going Ford GTs are now regularly changing hands for around $300,000, well over their original asking price, a car as special as this prototype is expected to fetch far more. As an example, one of the speed-limited CP cars recently sold for around $750,000. It will be interesting to see what this rolling piece of automotive history will go for.